September photographer of the month:
Dave Wooldridge

My interest in photography began when I was about 13. I had this Brownie Instamatic, and I used to make my little brothers do tricks on the monkey bars and other playground equipment. I loved taking the photos, and they loved playing on the equipment. Win-Win!

Jumping ahead, I bought my first “real” camera, a Nikon F, in 1971 (which I still have, and it still works fine), and eventually graduated from Kent State with a BS degree in 
Photojournalism News.  I worked on a weekly newspaper as an editor, freelanced as a writer/photographer, and eventually spent a 30-year career as an editor/publisher in the automotive high performance racing industry.

When I retired six years ago, I immersed myself in photography, learning as much as I could about the new Nikon 810 I bought and Photoshop/Lightroom editing programs. I also began shooting a lot with my iPhone and working with many different editing apps.

At a seminar I attended the speaker told us there are two types of photographers - hunters and farmers. Hunters shoot almost anything that interests them; farmers focus primarily on specific genres such as landscapes, wildlife, photojournalism, etc. I’d say I'm a lot of both.

My focus over the past year, however, has been learning how to shoot nature and wildlife. I love trying to show wildlife in their natural environment.  When done right, they tell their own story. My membership in clubs like the ACC, Cleveland Photographic Society and several online photographic clubs has taught me a lot about how different photographers see the world and use their equipment.  It has inspired me to continually try to improve what I love to do.

I think a lot of photographers are disappointed in not being able to achieve the images that they are after. When that happens to me I try to keep three things in mind - 1) Move closer to your subject; 2) Find more interesting, unique, and exciting things to shoot; 3) Photograph from a lower position.

My best photographs help me experience the world more intensely, as do the images created by other passionate photographers.  I can't imagine life without a camera.
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